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News: School is renovated for the new year

Financial aid department assists 600 students on a daily basis

News: Student Life goes beyond the classroom

Page 5 Dean of Students and SGA President address student body

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THE FALCON TIMES THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF MIAMI DADE COLLEGE NORTH CAMPUS SINCE 1961 THEFALCONTIMES@HOTMAIL.COM

AUGUST 27, 2008

VOLUME 46, ISSUE 1

Welcome Back

Students are not using MDC e-mails as often as expected Daniel Masip Entertainment Editor

Laura C. Morel/Falcon Staff

Miami Dade College North Campus welcomes new and returning students for the school year 2008-2009.

Public Safety is here to make people safe Chief of Public Safety Therese Homer has many plans for the department Laura C. Morel Editor in Chief They are seen walking through the hallways of the North Campus, locking classroom doors, and driving through the parking lots. They also wear navy blue uniforms, with two uppercase words etched onto their shirts: Public Safety. The public safety department at Miami Dade College North Campus provides various services to faculty and the student body in order to maintain the campus and the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial

Education Center, 6300 NW 7th Avenue, as secure as possible. “We are here for prevention and to make people feel safe at the campus,” said chief of public safety Therese Homer. In order to do that, there are about 95 employees and officers on duty 24 hours a day, with morning, afternoon, and midnight shifts. The officers patrol the campus on foot, vehicle, and bicycle. Public Safety, located in Room 1177, offers assistance to students and faculty that call the department. The calls can range from someone feeling threatened

to even needing a door opened. A total of 74 emergency phones can be found throughout the campus, with 14 code blue phones located in the parking lots. A student can pick up one of the phones and be automatically directed to public safety. In July, public safety received 5,000 calls to their department. “Itʼs the busiest campus of all the campuses,” said Chief Homer. Students and faculty can also call public safety regarding the escort service. If someone feels threatened, chief Homer said they should not hesitate to call because

they will be escorted by an officer to their vehicle. “Students should not feel afraid to call,” she said. “They can call if they need an escort and need assistance.” Since February 2008, chief Homer has been hosting a show on MDC-TV on channel 78 called “Safety First.” Through the show, she has discussed numerous safety tips for students to be safe on campus. Six shows have been aired so far, and the latest episode

GO TO CRIME WATCH, PAGE 5

For the past eight months, Miami Dade College has provided its students and faculty an e-mail account system enhanced by Google. Now, the question is this: How many students utilize these free accounts offered by the college? In a 2007-08 electronic survey of MDC graduates conducted by Dr. Joanne Bashford, associate provost for institutional effectiveness, out of the 90,919 students that registered at Miami Dade College North Campus, only 12 percent of graduates have replied back to the study. Bashford said that one of the reasons contributing to the lack of responses might be due to the decline of MDC e-mail usage. “It is too early to tell how many students will answer to the survey through the email accounts,” Bashford said. “More studies would have to be done, in order to have a definite answer.” Carmen Bucher, the computer courtyard director, said she was unaware of this crisis and that she was willing to look into the situation. “I find it very peculiar that not all students are using this great feature,” Bucher said. “This e-mail system is vital for everyone to use, since information like student life activities and class registration go through these accounts.”

GO TO MDC EMAIL, PAGE 2


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August 27, 2008

NEWS

Renovations made throughout campus North Campus clubs prepare for a new year Jessica Tejeda Features Editor

Rachel Santos/Falcon Staff The building four cafeteria is one of the many places throughout the campus that has been renovated for the upcoming school year during the summer.

Theodore Karantsalis Staff Writer Renovations at the bookstore, cafeteria, and the William Lehman Theater, are all evidence of Miami Dade College North Campusʼ commitment to improving facilities for students. “The North Campus bookstore led the way, as far as renovation goes,” said Cristina Mateo, dean of administration. The bookstoreʼs parent company, Follett, is the nationʼs largest operator of college bookstores, with $2.3 billion in annual sales last year and 760 locations throughout the United States. Before settling on a design and plan, college administrators and Follett toured other college bookstores, including the University of Miami, Florida International University, Barry University, and Broward Community College. “We changed the carpet, fixtures, and repainted,” said Omar Betts, manager of the North Campus bookstore.

There is a greater selection of merchandise, including MDC logo items, and school supplies like notebooks, pens, and of course, books. “We have more merchandise and better registers to serve the students,” said Betts. The addition of four cash registers – doubling the amount to eight—will ensure that students will pass quickly through the check-out lanes. The cafeteria will be open in time to start the new academic year. “Itʼs a small facelift to address issues like buckling tiles and broken tables and chairs,” said Dean Mateo. Students attending the North Campus this summer were able to enjoy the grand opening of the Lakeside Café, located in front of building three. “It was a major renovation of the space,” said Dean Mateo. Lackmann Culinary Services is ready to serve you wonderful coffee and snacks. A total of $2.6 million dollars have been allocated to renovate the William Lehman

Theater. “We are going to renovate the entire theater, including the stage, seating areas, floors, and acoustics,” said Dean Mateo. Changes will be made to rest rooms, dressing rooms, curtains, and lighting, to name a few. R.J. Heisenbottle Architects of Coral Gables, has been secured to renovate the theater. Some of their completed theater arts projects include the Miami Edison Auditorium, the Kingʼs Point Theater for the Performing Arts, and the Guzman Center for the Performing Arts. The estimated completion date of this project is Fall 2010. “Each theater renovation project brings with it special challenges and the William Lehman Theater at North is no exception,” said Richard Heisenbottle, president of R. J. Heisenbottle Architects, P.A. “We will expand the theaterʼs theatrical capabilities at the same time as we make the theater more exciting and user friendly for patrons.”

E-mails are the wave of the future at the college FROM MDC EMAIL, FRONT PAGE Bucher said that she believes that students are unwilling to grab hold of their MDC accounts simply because they want to use their own personal e-mails. Furthermore, many professors at the North Campus are in favor of the MDC e-mail accounts. Barry Gordon, School of Entertainment & Design Technology director, said that this is the best way to communicate with students. “These accounts assure the professor a way to contact a student (via e-mail) to discuss issues regarding college business, class assignments, etc,” Gordon said. “I encourage students to check their accounts regularly so that they are sure to receive pertinent information for their benefit.” Lisa Shaw, an English professor, believes these MDC accounts bring a sense of professionalism to its students, something that many personal e-mails are lacking. “Iʼd much rather receive an e-mail from suzie.smith001@mymdc.net than from hotlicketybabe@yahoo.com,” Shaw said.

“I’d much rather receive an e-mail from suzie.smith001@mymdc.net than from hotlicketybabe@yahoo.com.”

English Professor Lisa Shaw

However, not all students share Gordonʼs belief of the MDC e-mail usage. Geraldine Toussaint, a nursing major, said that she does not really access her MDC account. “I only use my MDC e-mail account for my coursework,” Toussaint said. “Professors encourage us to manage them for other purposes, but I personally donʼt do so.” On the contrary to the previous statement, some students around MDC North do apply them for other functions. Jephte Privert, a paraprofessional technician at the computer courtyard, said that he notices students using them as their own personal e-mails as well. “The MDC accounts are as good as

Yahoo or Google e-mails,” Privert said. “I see students around the courtyard utilizing them for both school and personal activities because the features are easy to operate, even for a computer novice.” So, whether MDC students want to accept it or not, they are going to have to register an MDC e-mail account for school purposes. Bucher, director of the computer courtyard, thinks these accounts are the wave of the future for Miami Dade College. “It is very important for students to register their accounts through MDC,” Bucher said. “This is the only way the college can get in contact with its student body.”

Axis Magazine

Axis magazine is a student publication, filled with different aspects of writing. It offers fiction and non-fiction writing, and provides MDC students a chance to creatively express themselves. Axis is based at the North Campus and is advised by English professor Lisa Shaw. Former editor in chief of Volume 5, Melissa Cabrera, believes Axis magazine is “a gateway for students to express themselves artistically.” The magazine can be found in the English department, in building seven, second floor. It is also distributed to all other departments, and to students around campus. Overall, the literary magazine offers students a breath of fresh air from all their required texts and homework assignments. It can be an outlet for some students to submit writing. To send a submission, contact Shaw at (305) 237-1766, or reach the department at (305) 237-1300.

Phi Theta Kappa

Phi Theta Kappa is the oldest honor society for a two-year campus, and has been a part of Miami Dade College for 40 years. It has been a part of the North Campus since 1983, and is now recognized as the premier campus for the honors society, leading the way for all the chapters. Every fall semester, PTK inducts about 73 students. In the spring semester, they usually induct a larger amount of students. Nearly 103 students were inducted last spring semester. “Besides offering students in the honor society an opportunity to receive many scholarships, it also makes students well rounded in every sense of the word,” said PTKʼs President Susana Rodriguez. Leadership, service, fellowship and scholarship are the four standards PTK follows. Other then helping the community with countless community service hours, the students who are apart of the honor society are students who are later rewarded with many scholarships and financial assistance. In addition, PTK is the only two-year organization that appears in college transcripts, which is helpful for students transferring to competitive universities. Any student with a GPA of 3.5 or higher that is interested in joining PTK should stop by Room 4210, in building four, second floor, near Student Life.


August 27, 2008

NEWS

Page 3

Program makes traveling a possible career “The goal is to make students employable and keep them employed” Rachel Santos Staff Writer

The travel and tourism program is one of the many programs that Miami Dade College North Campus offers. It is under the school of business and it is the only licensed school program in South Florida that represents the travel institute professional certifications. Through the program, students become familiar with all aspects of the travel industry, which includes getting to know destinations and geography, learning the skills that are required for employment, and working with updated technology while being in a diverse environment.

“You learn so much and they bring a lot to the classrooms, they help you a lot,” said Rebecca Geneve, a hospitality and travel and tourism management major. The program offers scholarship workshops, fieldtrips, fundraising events through the club and the travel and tourism student association, where students can get involved. It helps students with their career development, job placement, and provides them with university transfer assistance. The primary focus in the classrooms is obtaining a job in this industry that contributes so much to the economy and is the number one industry in the world. “The goal is to make students employable but keep them employed,” said MDCʼs travel and tourism management program professor, Sandra M. Washington.

“The program helped me enhance my skills and it gave me the opportunity to obtain a scholarship: the push that I received from my professors was amazing.”

Travel management major Karine Smith Bandeh

Photo provided by the Travel and Tourism program

There are many job opportunities in the travel industry. Professors make sure to prepare students not only for employment but for those who want a career in the field and who wish to advance into a higher level of employment. “The program helped me enhance my skills and it gave me the opportunity to

obtain a scholarship: the push that I received from my professors was amazing,” said Karine Smith Bandeh, a travel management major. The program has helped hundreds of students achieve academic success and create opportunities for themselves in different branches of the travel and tourism industry.

Academic Advisement makes scheduling easier Michael Finch Staff Writer Before youʼre swept into the stressful world of academia, remember that youʼre not alone in the sometimes overwhelming decision making life of a college student. Miami Dade College North Campus offers services that help students be successful in their school work. To ensure a promising start, a trip to the academic advisement office would be essential for choosing your student schedule. According to Sandra Martinez, director of academic advisement at the North Campus, first year students should visit the advisement office a minimum of three times during their first semester. “Itʼs ideal that first year students come at least six weeks before the approaching term, followed by another session four to six weeks into their first term to create an Individual Education Plan (IEP), and then eight weeks prior to the next term to choose quality classes,” Martinez said. The IEP is designed to show students the classes they need for their major and the recommended order they should be taken, where it then poses as a blueprint for students to follow. This makes it easy

for students to enroll into classes without the direct assistance of an adviser. “[However], many of our students are too dependent upon us,” said Grace Herring-Graham, an adviser/intervention specialist at department. “An IEP is only efficient if the student follows it”. It saves time and money for students to develop a relationship with their respective adviser, because each institution has a culture and a climate that academic advisers are aware of. “When first year students come to academic advisement they often have the misconception of what college is, we have to then explain that weʼre only here to help prepare students as an adult,” said Herring-Graham. “Ultimately, they can graduate and matriculate on to a higher institution. There is not as much support as in high school.” Still, high school graduates should not shy away from stopping by the academic office at any time throughout the year. “Through a relationship with an adviser, you can improve your knowledge for your desired field and we can also help students interpret test scores, career planning, transferring, and graduation preparation,” said Martinez. “A quality advisement session can take anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour.”

CRUISING AROUND: Students from the program have fun on a cruise.

ACCESS aids disabled students in succeeding at school A $900,000 grant makes college more accessible for students with disabilities Belkis Perez Staff Writer Some students walk right through the door while others depend on someone to open it. Miami Dade College North Campus offers disabled students facilities through a program known as ACCESS. ACCESS is a department responsible for providing students with disabilities with equipment and services for them to be successful. This department serves about 600 students at the North Campus and about 2,100 students college wide. ACCESS services numerous types of disabilities ranging from mobility to assisting the blind. All of these services are free to the students who may need

them. It also offers tutoring, interpreters, note takers, equipment training, and any equipment needed to assist the student. “What our department does is to provide these things that allow students with disabilities to do what everyone else does,” said Paul Edwards, director of ACCESS. ACCESS helps students with disabilities by providing them with desks in the classrooms in which their wheelchairs fit. For students who have disabilities in their hands, they are provided with computers that students talk to and the computer types for them. “ACCESS students have to meet the same requirements as any other Miami Dade College student,” Edwards said. The ACCESS program facilitates students with disabilities, but being in this

program doesnʼt mean that these students are expected to perform any less than other MDC students. This program allows them to act like any other student without any barriers. The ACCESS staff challenges the students but at the same time assists them with their special needs, helping the program thrive. On campus, there is a disabilities organization known as “Abilities Unlimited,” and two years ago they filed a report on areas around the campus that could be improved to help disabled students. “That report is part of the reason why we have automatic doors,” said Edwards. Last year was the first time ACCESS was given a budget of about $900,000 to

help make the college more accessible to handicapped students. ACCESS also offers special classes, like CGS 1081 which is for disabled students and it is similar to CGS 1060, introduction to computers. In this class students with disabilities learn everything that is taught in the other computer class but they also learn how to manage the computer according to their special needs. Also, with this budget new ramps and disabled parking spaces have been put all around campus. Edwards said offering all this assistance to disabled students helps them see that they can participate in anything they want. “We are trying to make changes around the campus so that the students can participate in anything they want,” Edwards said.


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NEWS

Student Life helps students see beyond the classroom Laura C. Morel Editor in Chief

August 27, 2008

Gallery North’s upcoming schedule for the school year September 11 - October 24, 2008

Every year, the Student Life department at Miami Dade College North Campus provides numerous events and activities for students. This year will be no different. “The Student Life Department is responsible for many programs and activities that take place outside the classroom and enhance life at Miami Dade College North Campus,” said Jaime Anzalotta, student life director. Through this department, located in Room 4208, students have the opportunity of joining in special forums, conferences, and events to help them see that learning can go beyond the classroom. “Participating in campus life helps you acquire the skills that will give you an edge on your competition after you graduate, no matter what youʼve chosen as your field of study,” said Anzalotta. The Student Life department, which has a 10-person staff, also provides student identification cards, parking decals, applications to form a new student organization and for student insurance, activities calendars, voter registration forms, and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbooks. Another main area of this department is the student programming board. “Weʼre in charge of events that take place outside of the classes on campus,” said Christina Marcelin, chairperson of the Student Programming Board. According to Anzalotta, the boardʼs responsibilities include “brainstorming, planning, promoting, marketing, and finally implementing the event.” Cultural, forum, entertainment, recreational, and awareness events are all held on campus. For the fall semester, Anzalotta said the Student Life department will continue to provide excellent service to the student body. Some of these events include a number of civic engagement and community service events regarding MDCʼs 10 learning outcomes, as well as health awareness day. For the fall semester, the department will be hosting the “Welcome Back Fun Day” Sept. 3 in the building four breezeway at 11 a.m. “College is a time to challenge ideas and beliefs, to learn new concepts, and to develop a sense of self,” said Anzalotta.

The faculty of the Arts and Philosophy Department will showcase their work in the annual exhibition that all campuses participate in. Faculty will give weekly gallery talks and discuss their works with their students and visitors to the galleries. November 12 - January 31, 2009 MDC presents and supports talented emerging photographers who have been part of Miami Dade College and the New World School of the Arts photography programs. Analog or digital are the selected projects of the thematic, and stylistic goals of each artist. This is a unique opportunity to view the creative work of future generations of Miami photographers. The exhibition includes weekly gallery walks. Videos will be screened Thursday at the gallery. A series of two lectures by MDC faculty will be presented on trends in contemporary Miami. February 12 - March 27, 2009

Photos provided by Poll Duran and Student Life

READY TO LEARN: (Above, from left to right) Student Life director Jaime

Anzalotta, Nelson Figueredo, former SGA President Lance McGibbon, director of the international students department Tere Collada, and Poll Duran. (Below) The Student Life department participates in the Bob and Otto Literary Campaign.

Lynch Fragments will be on display. Most of them are no more than a foot tall. They will include found objects like chains, nails and padlocks; sometimes artist Melvin Edwards hammers and shapes the tools of oppression himself. These reliefs are inspired by African masks and capture their ability to express powerful feelings of fear, violence, vigilance, sexuality and play. The work, which is distinguished by its consistency of tone and by its independence from the artistic trends and political fashions, has served to illuminate AfricanAmerican history from past to present. Lynch Fragments is part of the collections of the Bronx Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and the Museum of Visual Arts (Caracas, Venezuela). Compiled by Daniel Masip

A Thousand Words During the early morning hours in Milan, Italy, motorcycles and “tranvias” are a primary way natives travel through their city.

Anahi Cortada/Falcon Staff


August 27, 2008

NEWS

Page 5

Public Safety is “here for prevention and to make people feel safe at the campus” FROM CRIME WATCH, FRONT PAGE

can be seen on MDC-TV at 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Some safety tips that public safety always tells students is to make sure their cars are locked and that there are no expensive items inside. This will help prevent their car from being broken into or stolen. In order to make sure that students feel safe on campus, the public safety department will be sending out a survey to students via their mymdc email accounts the first week of the fall semester. But some students already feel secure being at the North Campus. “I feel safe here, everybody is safe,” said aerospace and engineering major Boruch Rudd. The newest crime prevention service that is offered is the Youth Crime Watch of

Americanʼs College Crime Watch chapter opened at the North Campus, the first campus to participate in the program. On June 2, both chief Homer and Debbie Goodman, chairperson for the criminal justice department, became advisers of the College Crime Watch. The program helps employees and students of the campus become involved in keeping their school safe. The College Crime Watch, which now has 50 members, has held six meetings so far. “During the meetings, we discuss strategies for ensuring that students are aware and informed about safety-related matters,” said Goodman. The program is also working on a webpage where information about the crime watch can be viewed. Chief Homer hopes the webpage, “www.mdc.edu/north/ ccw,” can serve as a place where reports can be made and automatically sent to public safety. Chief Homer said she has future plans

for the department, such as expanding their campus safety awareness day, as well as creating an advocacy program against domestic, dating, and sexual violence.

But for now, things are running smoothly at the North Campus. “Itʼs like a little city,” she said. “We have a safe campus.”

Laura C. Morel/ Falcon Staff SAFETY FIRST: (Left) Chief of Public Safety Therese Homer in her office. (Right) One of the 74 emergency phones located around the North Campus.

Financial aid department keeps a busy schedule Julie Selva Staff Writer

With the start of a new school year upon us, Miami Dade College is no stranger to long lines. This is especially true for the financial aid office. “We are seeing over 600 students a day during peak days”, said Chimene Garrison, financial aid director. Garrison assures that all federal regulations are being followed by the college. But why is it that most students storm in completing their academic and financial transactions at the last minute? “Some students realize that they are coming to MDC instead of a university at the last minute,” said Garrison. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application runs from January to June 30 of every year, but Garrison said the FAFSA applications should be in by March 15. One of the challenges that the financial aid office faces is a imited amount of advisers. The financial aid office has eight advisers, six clerical staff members, six student assistants, and two part-time employees. “I have a limited staff,” Garrison said. “We try to make sure we have the right amount of people to process the files, and people to see the students.” Some students feel the pressure from advisers during peak registration. “Some werenʼt too nice, and kept giving me the run around,” said dental hygiene major Angelica Gataeu.

Despite the disadvantages of the employee shortage, Garrison assures that the “processes are in line with the needs of the students.” Garrison also takes charge in “informing students and general public for the funding of education.” The department conducts campaigns during the month of February, which is the official “Financial Aid Awareness” month. Students can attend financial aid workshops to better assist them in filling their FAFSA application. “The first time experience was a little hard but I went through the workshops,” said mursing major Victoria Etor. The Student Government Association also plays a role by providing the distribution of flyers to inform students. The financial aid department also administers presentations in classrooms. Students can report to the Computer Courtyard in building two for one-on-one assistance. Another alternative that students should consider besides trying to apply early is applying online. “It seems they donʼt have enough staff,” said Allan Garcia, a computer major, and that is why he chose to do his financial aid application online. “Itʼs already online, and you can take your own initiative to find out yourself if you want to get the information.” Students can also benefit from the MDC One Card, which makes the process of receiving refunds much faster. “The card makes it easier for students to purchase their stuff and books,” said psychology major Jessica Ruiz. “Itʼs a great way to show students how to manage money and use credit cards.”


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August 27, 2008

OPINION

A letter of welcome from the dean of students Malou C. Harrison Dean of Students

D

ear Students:

As we begin this new academic year, it is one in which we welcome back our continuing students and bid special greetings to those students whose educational journey is just beginning at the North Campus. You have a most committed and qualified faculty and staff here at North who have chosen to be here to facilitate your learning and overall success throughout the time it takes you to complete your degree or certificate program. We will all be there on your North Campus graduation day to witness the conferring of your welldeserved diploma. The pages of this outstanding newspaper, The Falcon Times, are not

sufficient to capture the numerous “advice bytes” Iʼd want to share with you. And so, for brevityʼs sake, I remind you to take heed not to lose sight of your responsibilities as a student and that your first priority is your academic work. You are enrolled at a first class college, and your destiny is in your very own hands. Pledge to have a 100 percent attendance record in all your classes. Participate fully in the learning process by thinking critically about the information in your text books, actively sharing your perspective on issues, and posing questions at every opportunity to assure your own comprehension of the course material and discourse. In your busy schedule of work and other important obligations, be realistic in scheduling an adequate amount of time out of class to complete your assignments and to study. New students must visit the academic advisement department to meet with your assigned advisor before the end of September. Continuing students should plan to meet with an

advisor in their Academic Department for advisement and special information. If you ever have a problem that you have not been able to resolve, I invite you to seek the assistance of my office in Room 1317. Weʼre there to assist you. And do know that you are in the best position right now to chart a course of educational and professional success for yourself. The distinguished faculty and staff of the North Campus will be with you every step of the way and at every juncture advising, teaching, challenging, and supporting you toward the accomplishment of the goals youʼve outlined for yourself. Have an enjoyable and productive academic year, and thank you for selecting Miami Dade College North Campus as your higher education institution of choice. Sincerely, Malou C. Harrison Dean of Students

SGA president Decalva Brown addresses students Decalva Brown SGA President

W

elcome to the prestigious grounds of Miami Dade College, North Campus. My name is Decalva Brown and I am your 2008 – 2009 Student Government Association President. I am an international student from Jamaica, who is currently pursuing a career in graphic design technology. The Student Government Association is the umbrella organization on this campus. We represent the entire student body at the state and local level. We are also a liaison between the student population and the administration.

All concerns, suggestions, comments, and solutions are addressed by Student Government Association in a professional and powerful way, so that the faculty and administration are kept up to date as to what affects students. We also interact with the students and get involved in numerous activities. Student Government Association is a gateway to so many wonderful things. You can gain valuable skills in civic responsibility, financial management, embracing diversity, serving the community, interpersonal and crosscultural communication as well as many other leadership opportunities. For the upcoming 2008 – 2009 academic year, the Student Government Association is looking forward to increase the collaboration between faculty, staff, and administration. We want to increase the communication between all the clubs

at the North Campus, so we all can work together to make this college one of the best in the United States. We are going to make students aware about legislative issues that are affecting them through classroom presentations and events on campus. Furthermore, we also plan on creating more activities for the students of Miami Dade College, North Campus and The Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center. The Student Government Association and I are looking forward to working with all the student organizations and students in the upcoming year. I hope you are all ready and excited to start the journey of hard work and dedication for your organizations and your careers. With dedication and hard work in mind, there is no doubt that you will be successful in your career. I encourage you to take full

advantage of this beautiful environment that the hardworking administrative staff of the North Campus has provided. I would like to encourage all of you to join at least one organization. It has a remarkable effect on your resume and applications to upper division universities, and it makes the best of your college experience by meeting new people, networking and enjoying campus events. I encourage you to strive for excellence for yourself. Also, keep in mind that you are representing your organization, the college, and yourself at all times. Every student is welcome to join the Student Government Association by registering at our office in Room 4204. If you have any questions about Student Government Association, please feel free to contact the Student Government Association office at (305) 237-1644 or email us at nsga@mdc.edu.

Photos and interviews by Evelina Arzanova

? k n i h T u o Y o D t a

Wh

Julissa Escobar Criminal Justice Major

Serge Smith Registered Nursing Major

“There is always a new story in the office; they always ask for something. Also, they take their time and they are in no rush to help anyone. It took hours to talk to someone.”

“The line is ridiculous. As far as getting a student loan, counselors don’t even try to assist you. The money is not coming out of their pockets because the school is giving this money to students, so I don’t see why they make it so hard instead of helping them.”

Financial Aid Department

Eduardo Mecias Psychology Major

“They work with one of the hardest departments aside from the registration office. It is extremely hard to be accurate and reliable. A good way to take care of students’ demands is to hire more people and give them more professional training, but they do try their best.”

Veronica Blue Registered Nursing Major

“I think they take care of me on time because from high school my financial aid information was ready.”


Page 8

August 27, 2008

OPINION

The Falcon Times wants to hear from you THE FALCON TIMES 11380 N.W. 27 Avenue, Room 4209 Miami, FL 33167 (305) 237-1253 (305) 237-1254 Fax: (305) 237-8262

Editorial Board Editor in Chief Laura C. Morel Managing Editor Anahi Cortada Greg Torrales Advertising Manager Daniel Masip Entertainment Editor Opinion Editor Erik Steinhardt Features Editor Jessica Tejeda

Staff Evelina Arzanova Fedelin Fanfan Michael Finch Theodore Karantsalis Belkis Perez Rachel Santos Julie Selva

Manolo Barco

Adviser

The Falcon Times is published by the students of Miami Dade College North Campus. Decisions regarding content are made by student editors.The opinions in this newspaper do not necessarily represent those of the administration, faculty, or the student body.

Laura C. Morel Editor in Chief

W

alking through the halls of The Miami Herald was like a dream come true for me. I was 16 years old, and my first story was about to get published. No one could wipe the smile off my face, not even the smell of stale coffee and the over-stressed editors. The only one that could was the lady who worked in front of the office where I was doing my internship. “What do you want to major in?” she said. I, of course, still had that stupid grin plastered on my face. “Journalism,” I said. “Oh,” said the lady, “what a big mistake. No one makes it in that career anymore. You should look into something else.” That careless comment pretty much made my smile disappear. I went home that night with the biggest pain in my chest. But somewhere, in all my sadness, in all my confusion and hurt pride, I realized something; I was going to prove her wrong. Since that moment four years ago, every progress Iʼve made in my writing has made me see that I am not making a “big mistake.”

I have served as the editor in chief of Hialeah High Schoolʼs student newspaper The Record. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to freelance for The Miami Herald. And now, I feel privileged to be the editor in chief of Miami Dade College North Campusʼs student newspaper, The Falcon Times. It took me a year to get to become The Falcon Times editor in chief. It was a year of challenges, stress, hard work, but nevertheless a year of accomplishments. I began at The Falcon Times as the layout editor, doing all of the graphic design work and spreads for the summer 2007 issues. I was later promoted to features editor, where my responsibility was to assign and edit stories for the features section. But it was as the news editor that I began to get a real taste of journalism. As the curious and overanalytical freshman that I was, I noticed that there were many pigeons hopping around the campus with only one leg. To me, this was very strange. How did this happen? I began asking people if they knew anything about this. As it turns out, there was a big story behind the one-legged pigeons. There was an electrical system set up in some buildings that “shocked” the birds. I had my story. But what was surprising to me was that my story made a

difference. The electrical system was actually disconnected because administration feared it was causing the pigeons harm, even though they denied the claims. That is what I love about journalism. I wanted to keep getting a feel for it. The next story I wrote was about computer thefts taking place on campus. Every person that I talked to turned their face and refused to comment. People hung up on me as soon as I said “Iʼm from the school newspaper.” Even the people that did talk to me barely answered my questions. I was about to give up. But after receiving an anonymous letter stating which departments were affected, I started asking around again, and eventually, I got some answers. To be honest, Iʼve always been a quiet person. Because of that, I always felt my interviewing skills were not the best. After writing this story, I understood interviewing a little better. I was one step closer to being the journalist I always wanted to be. Iʼve learned quite a bit. And Iʼm excited and thrilled to apply the lessons and experiences that I have learned working for The Falcon Times. As the editor in chief, I have many plans for our North Campus newspaper. In the summer, with the help of my devoted staff, we published a summer issue that was on stands

June 23. We also published a back to school issue, which is what you are reading now. Our main goal this year is to publish a new issue every two weeks, without ever missing a deadline. We also want to make sure that the stories we publish are relevant to the issues and events occurring to you, the students, and to the campus. But we canʼt do this alone. We need your help. We need you to pick up the paper every time it gets published and let us know what you like and what you dislike. We need you to bring to our attention anything that you feel needs to be addressed. After all, The Falcon Times is not here to be thrown away, or to just “say” thereʼs a college newspaper. Itʼs here for you, so that you know whatʼs going on at the North Campus. I wish all of you at the North Campus a successful school year filled with accomplishments. I hope you find what you want to do as a career for the rest of your lives. I know I am meant to be a journalist, no matter how many obstacles are thrown my way. I wish I could find that lady who tried to discourage me at The Miami Herald to thank her for motivating me. And please remember the The Falcon Times is your newspaper. Pick it up. We want to hear from you.

Advertising Information

Letters to the Editor The Falcon Times welcomes letters to the editor. All submissions should be 300 words or less and must be typed. The writer must sign their full name, phone number, address, student number, and e-mail address on the letter in order to be considered. Faculty and staff should include the title, department, and extension. All letters are subject to editing. Letters can be sent via e-mail to thefalcontimes@hotmail. com, with the subject “letter to the editor.” Corrections Found an error in the newspaper? Feel free to voice your concerns by e-mailing us at thefalcontimes@hotmail.com

By Fedelin Fanfan

For ad information, contact Advertising Manager Greg Torrales at (786) 237- 8414, or gregoryj.torrales001@mymdc. net.


The Falcon Times Vol. 46, #01